By Violet Maxwell Benson

If there’s anything you shouldn’t take lightly about yourself, it’s having a self-care routine. This could be anything at all that makes you feel good about or at peace with yourself. Hardly any other period in your life deserves it more than during this pandemic. These days you’re always indoors, boxed in with loved ones (who you obviously love to bits but can drive you crazy too), or strung out from the mental stress COVID-19 has brought.

You didn’t have to wait until a global crisis to care for yourself. In fact, if you haven’t been practising healthy habits, begin immediately.  

The importance of a routine for taking care of yourself can never be overemphasised, but sadly, so many people misinterpret what self-care means. It’s not simply looking for flaws in your life, like excessive weight, and deciding to work on them. It is not when you decide you will be happy if you change a few things in your life (mostly things that aren’t even as relevant as you see them). It is about being selfish or overindulging in yourself. No! That’s not it.

A Self-care routine consists of implementing those habits you cultivate to live a better life. It is the things you do every day that help you cope with stressors, help you avoid burning out, and help you become more productive in your daily activities. These routines help you reach your short term and long-term goals to improve the quality of your life. These are what make up a self-care routine. 

Why Do We Neglect Ourselves?

Sometimes you want to be a better person, right? But you’re practising habits or experiencing some unfortunate event that puts you in a state where you neglect healthy habits.

Some factors affecting your lack of a self-care routine could be:

  • Addiction to harmful habits (drugs, alcohol, junk food, sleep procrastination etc.)
  • An absence of the desire to improve
  • Having a hard time choosing when and how to start a good lifestyle
  • Sustaining a healthy routine over time is hard
  • Factors associated with health
  • Events in your life that intersect with sickness making it difficult for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle

I’m going to let you in on a secret; the difference between you feeling depressed, angry, unkempt, unsuccessful or even thinking of yourself as a failure is your lack of a self-care routine. The moment you begin, I promise you will feel changes within yourself. 

True that it’s hard to just begin, especially if you do not have the passion or motivation required, but you need to find it. You need a purpose, some reason to motivate you into creating healthy habits that improve the quality of your life. Think about it, as a human being, you’re conditioned to respond to action, to have a stimulus that propels you to react to something. 

If you struggle to find the joy to start minding yourself, look for something that will push you to want to begin. Can you find that thing? If you can, hold on to it and begin your journey to an improved life.

Self-Care Ideas To Get You Started

Here are some ways you can start enhancing your life right now.

  • Improve Your Physical Health Through a Healthy Lifestyle: This is one method for reducing stress, depression, and health-related problems while also increasing confidence. You can work out every day, dance, update your clothes, drink more water, and so on. Small changes can help you enhance your overall health.
  • Value Yourself: There’s nothing that boosts confidence and makes you feel positive about yourself better than knowing your worth and acting like it. If you don’t feel like you are worthy right now, fake it until you make it. Tell yourself you are a confident, amazing person, and soon you will start to feel like one. 
  • Create A Balance Between Work And Life: We can’t dispute that money is an essential part of being alive, but that should not be your primary goal in life. You can have all the money in the world and still feel bad about yourself if you do not care for yourself. Don’t joke around on this; it creeps up on even the most mindful of us.
  • Get A Life: Is your day based on monotonous repetitions? Or you can look back down memory lane and have a hearty laugh about events that have marked your existence here? Don’t just wake up, eat, work, sleep and repeat until you die. That’s not living; that’s just being alive. Do something with your life. Be spontaneous. Take risks. Try out new things. You don’t want to miss out on the fun to be had.

Little things like these are what improve your lifestyle and self-image. Learn to eat right, give freely, exercise regularly, stick to a skincare routine, avoid toxic people and situations, and you can go a really long way to improve the quality of your life. When the day comes and your life ‘flashes before eyes’, let it be a great show!